Council receives Risk Management Award

Published on 13 September 2022


Murray River Council has taken home an award for excellence in risk management.

Announced at the Statewide Mutual Risk Management Excellence Awards, council took out the Strategic/Enterprise Risk Initiative Award for regional councils.

The award recognised the council’s efforts in organisational decision-making and management planning through the implementation of an Accountabilities Framework.

CEO Terry Dodds said the framework addressed an ongoing risk to service delivery through lack of clear operational business disciplines.

“Like any organisation with many services, it’s easy for staff and management to quickly lose sight of ‘who does what,’ which inevitably causes a risk to service delivery and eventually a reduction in output.”

“So, we tackled this head-on by adopting a ‘Continual Management of Change Model’ we call the Accountabilities Framework, which quite literally defines all our services and who is accountable for each one.”

“In doing so, we've built an outcomes-based process that defines our purpose, aligns the 1200 accountabilities we have as on organisation, and provides a tool to measure progress.”

Mr Dodds said through the process, council identified and defined 150 accountabilities where grey areas, overlaps and oversights were causing significant risk to the organisation.

“In many instances this related to a particular service having no one landing point of responsibility; it might have been getting delivered but the responsibility flipped between different business units or individuals. This can inevitably lead to a decline in the ‘care-factor’ towards these particular tasks and a risk to them even getting delivered at all.”

“But we’ve next to near eliminated this issue by cascading the accountability framework right through the organisation offering more clarity and purpose to everyone’s roles,” he said.

Council’s accountability framework was also supported by their staff cultural improvement program ‘The Voice’; a survey-based tool that measured staff satisfaction and utilised teams of staff to further define any issues and offer direction for change.

“When leading cultural change, a top-down approach just doesn’t work,” Mr Dodds said.

“So it was our staff who worked to correlate feedback and ideas from the entire staff body and deliver a number of suggestions to be actioned.”

“This, coupled with our Accountabilities Framework, really allowed us to adapt, change and grow based on the needs of the business.”

“And to now be recognised for our efforts through a Risk Management Excellence Award, really is a credit to our staff for all the time and effort they put in to make these ongoing improvements.”


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